One of the reasons I founded Sea To Peak Financial Advisors was to fill a gap in the way the financial profession was serving people. Yes, we manage investments, do tax planning, retirement planning and provide many other services (see our current client service schedule.) And while it is hugely important to have great financial and investment plans, it’s the “why” behind these plans that leads to greater success and fulfillment. Yet, most people don’t know their “why” when they develop these plans with their advisor.
What I’ve found is that having more money makes you comfortable—it may even give you peace of mind—but it doesn’t necessarily make you happier. That’s why we go beyond traditional financial planning and make it a priority to help you use your money to make a difference in your life and the lives of others. How you use your money to make an impact is what ultimately fulfills you.
Finding Your “Why”
As advisors, it’s our job to honor your values and not push our own. The people we work with have worked hard, saved well and want to be good stewards of their money. Often, they want to use this money to create freedom for themselves – maybe an encore career or an early retirement – or in the lives of others. That’s their path to happiness.
But what if you’re not sure what will make you happy? Maybe you’ve been working so hard to this point, you haven’t had the time to think about it. If so, life planning can help you focus on what’s important and set a vision for how you want your life to evolve from here. Once you have this vision in mind—in other words, you know your “why”—those financial and investment plans begin to have more meaning and dare I say, improve your life.
I recently received a question from a new client who wanted to know what most people wanted in their life vision. The answers vary, but in the end, it usually isn’t more time at the office or a new boat. Some people just want a comfortable life and to make sure they are not a burden to others. Some want travel with family and to have deep-lived experiences. Others want to share their wealth so that more people can enjoy the freedom they experience.
There is no right or wrong answer. To work, it just has to be true to you. And once you acheive that, it’s worth all of the money in the world. So, over the next several weeks, I’ll be writing a series of blog posts focused on life planning to help you develop a vision of your ideal life. And if at any point you’d like to discuss your vision or the financial and investment plans to facilitate it with an advisor, I’d be more than happy to help.